This time last year, I signed for the keys to my house following the separation between my now ex husband and I. In all of my adult life, I had never lived alone and I remember almost shaking with the anticipation of what was to come next. I had no idea what to expect or if I could even do this. I wanted to prove to him that I could do this without any of his help. “Put your big girl pants on and just deal with it” he used to say to me, even throughout our relationship. He was adamant that I was incapable of being on my own, when in fact the irony in this is that that actually mirrors his own feelings. He has proven to the world that he is incapable of being alone by hopping from one woman to the next, never really understanding himself.
I remember walking down the mossy slate path to my new home and turning the keys in the lock for the first time. My heart was thumping in my chest as I explored each room, picturing where my furniture and belongings would go. After all, I had no one to tell me where I could and couldn’t put my things now. I imagined my cats sleeping by the fireplace after a long day of playing in the garden. I could see myself with my feet up on the sofa, cup of tea in one hand and a book in the other. I could see myself in the garden laughing with my friends on a warm summer’s evening. I was eager for the memories that I would create in my new home; alone. Then when my furniture arrived and was put in place by the removal guys, I was given some paperwork to sign before they left. I sat down on the sofa and it was so quiet, I could hear their truck’s engine start as they then drove off down the road. I suddenly burst into tears and I don’t think I stopped crying for a good 20 minutes or so. For the first time since my marriage fell apart, I was totally alone.
Seeing this photo of me holding my new keys for the first time has had me reminiscing about probably the hardest time in my life. I am smiling in the photo yet I look beyond exhausted, following weeks of going back and forth emotionally as my ex husband played games with both my heart and the heart of the woman he cheated on me with. Mentally I was exhausted too, after supporting my ex husband during his time in a psychiatric ward. He had threatened to take his own life after his bubble was burst and he had simultaneously lost both his wife and girlfriend in the blink of an eye as we finally found out about each other following nearly 5 months of deception and lies.
I wish I could go back to this time a year ago, and tell myself that it’ll all be okay. When times are hard, everyone tells you that things will work out eventually, but at that time you don’t believe it. At that time, the pain I was suffering caused me to almost take my own life. This is not something that I am proud of, but it is the truth. To be honest, the only thing that stopped me from doing it was my cats. That probably sounds stupid, but I had two little souls in fur coats that depended on me and loved me unconditionally. I rescued them from a very bad start in life and it wasn’t fair of me to put them in another bad situation. They saved my life. And I am so grateful for them, and my incredible friends and family for being the constant in my life.
Over the past year, things have slowly fallen into place. I am settled now into my solitary home life, which is something I have come to enjoy. I take great solace in doing what I want and when I want, no one to question me or answer to. My life had always revolved around my ex husband you see, his wants and needs and even his career took over my life. My next puzzle piece will be securing a position in a job of my choosing. Because of my ex husband’s career in the military, mine always took a back seat. We moved often and I was never able to fully settle into a role. It’s my time now.
With love, Darling Soul x
PS. When you’re having a hard time and nothing seems to be going right, remember…this, too, will pass.